Fallow’s St James's postcode could easily give the restaurant a formal feel, but instead the atmosphere is one of warmth and ease. Immediately, staff are so enthusiastic about the food that they convince you to try the unusual options you might otherwise have skipped past in search of something safer.
A cod’s head is a signature dish, covered in homemade sriracha butter sauce; while corn ribs aren’t ribs at all. These curled up, crispy bites are sweet and chewy and actually pieces of deep-fried corn on the cob that are then doused in a spicy, salty. You have to get your hands involved, so they feel like a proper messy treat.
Elsewhere a meaty mushroom pate was light and silky smooth with the richness of butter and the fragrance of truffle. The only complaint is that the restaurant doesn’t offer it to take away by the vat load, to eat on your sofa.
Mains brought pork cut by the intense hum of XO sauce, while dessert was the Instagram-friendly soft serve – which isn't just a gimmick. The rich chocolate flavour is intense and there are little malty, crispy hits from nuts and cocoa nibs and what tastes like crushed up cornflakes to contrast with the silky smooth base.
The chefs who head up Fallow met while working for Heston and are passionate about cooking in a carefully conscious way. In the wrong hands the menu could have been lacklustre, but the way to get people to care about championing sustainable cooking is to create dishes like these. They’re better than your average restaurant serving prime cuts of steak or whole lobsters.
As we sat eating in the buzzy atmosphere, plate after plate came out without criticism, with ingredients carefully balanced to elevate one another. Drinks too - as they do - helped create a lively atmosphere with a carefully chosen list of bottles sitting alongside classic cocktails.
Fallow is generous and indulgent, relaxed and innovative, and in short, it’s everything you want from eating out.